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About the book
  • Published: 22 November 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448161966
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464
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Knocking On Heaven's Door

How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate our Universe




One of the most illuminating science books in years, Knocking on Heaven's Door makes clear the biggest scientific questions we face and reveals how answering them could ultimately tell us who we are and where we came from.

Sunday Times Science Book of the Year 2011.

We are poised on the edge of discovery in particle physics (the study of the smallest objects we know of) and cosmology (the study of the largest), and when these breakthroughs come, they will revolutionise what we think we know about the universe, and the modern world.

Lisa Randall guides us through the latest ideas, charting the thrilling progress we have made in understanding the universe – from Galileo and Newton to Einstein and the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Yet it's about more than just physics - Randall explains how we decide what questions to ask; how risk, beauty, creativity and truth play a role in scientific thinking; and how answering the big questions will ultimately tell us who we are and where we came from.

  • Pub date: 22 November 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448161966
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

About the Author

Lisa Randall

Professor Lisa Randall studies theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University. Randall's studies have made her among the most cited and influential theoretical physicists. She has also had a public presence through her writing, lectures, and radio and TV appearances. Her book Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions was included in the New York Times' 100 notable books of 2005. Professor Randall was included in the list of Time magazine's '100 Most Influential People' of 2007 and was featured in Newsweek's 'Who's Next in 2006' as 'one of the most promising theoretical physicists of her generation'. Randall has received numerous awards and honors for her scientific endeavors. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Randall is an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

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Praise for Knocking On Heaven's Door

“Lisa Randall is hugely gifted... Full of passion and jaw-dropping facts... Fascinating”

Doug Johnstone, Independent on Sunday

“An impressive study...essential reading for anyone interested in science”

Christopher Potter, Sunday Times

“Dazzling ideas... Read this book today to understand the science of tomorrow”

Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor and author of How the Mind Works

“Science has a battle for hearts and minds on its hands... How good it feels to have Lisa Randall's unusual blend of top flight science, clarity, and charm on our side”

Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion

“In this fascinating book, Lisa Randall, professor of theoretical physics at Harvard, explains the experimental research at the LHC and the theories that try to anticipate what they will find”

Manjit Kumar, Independent

“Her touch is light and deft; these are not topics that come easily to life, and they are unavoidably complex at times, but Randall's calm authority and clarity of explanation are exemplary”

Michael Brooks, New Scientist

“Lisa Randall does a great job of explaining to the non-physicist the basic scientific approaches of modern physics and what the latest experiments might reveal. This is a must read to appreciate what is coming in our future.”

J. Craig Venter

“I didn't think it was possible to write a complex, detailed look at the world of physics that the non-scientist could understand, but then Lisa Randall wrote this amazing, insightful and engaging book and proved me wrong.”

Carlton Cuse, award-winning writer of television series Lost

“Lisa Randall is the rarest rarity--a theoretical physics genius who can write and talk to the rest of us in ways we both understand and enjoy. This book takes the nonspecialist as close as theyll ever get to the inner workings of the cosmos.”

Larry Summers

“Written with dry wit and ice-cool clarity...Knocking on Heaven's Door is a book that anyone at all interested in science must read. This is surely the science book of the year.”

Christopher Potter, Sunday Times

“Randell...tries to illuminate something of the underlying themes driving current scientific thinking.”

Richard Lea


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